Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Our Food, Our Story online events

Our Food, Our Story is a series of online events designed to ensure that alternative voices are given space and, in the process, expose the capitalist manoeuvrings on food systems. Among the questions that will be discussed in the series are: What are the causes of the disruption of food systems? How will digitalization and corporate control of agriculture impact small-scale food producers, alternative concepts such as agroecology, or traditional communities? Can initiatives such as the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) help to tackle the current challenges, or are green technology approaches rather part of the problem?

A 4-part online event series hosted by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung and partners on the occasion of the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) on 7, 9, 14, and 16 September.

Over the past few years, ETC Group has been piecing together the larger picture of the puzzle and uncovering in real time the current shifts in the governance of global food systems. In their presentation, ETC Group will share the conclusions of their study: ETC (2021) “Hijacking Food Systems: Technofix Takeover at the FSS”16 p. - that highlights key aspects and players and frames a confusing and fast-moving situation into a simplified coherent and creative narrative.
  • Neth Daño (ETC Group)
  • Jim Thomas (ETC Group)
  • Ronnie Hall (ETC Group)
9 SeptemberCrash Barriers for Post-COVID-19 Food and Agricultural Systems
Many of the world’s current food and agricultural systems are in need of transformation – for people, for the environment and climate, and for our shared future. COVID-19 exposed, even more, that the distribution and commercialization of food is highly concentrated and inequitable.
  • P S Vijayshankar (Samaj Pragati Sahayog, India)
  • Matheus Gringo de Assunção (MST and Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, Brazil)
  • Qiana Mickie (QJM Multiprise, USA)
  • Ang Cheatlom (Associate lawyer and ecological farming advocate, Cambodia)
  • Moderator: Patricia Lizarraga (Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung) 
  • Moderator: Refiloe Joala (Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung)

AGRA and its technical fixes play a key role at the UNFSS. AGRA was founded in 2006 with the vision of doubling agricultural yields and the incomes of 30 million small-scale food producer households by 2020. In their background paper, civil society organizations from African countries and Germany unmask the AGRA myth.

The background paper “A Sting in the AGRA Tale” is a joint publication by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA, Uganda), Association Monde Rural (AMR, Burkina Faso), Biodiversity and Biosafety Association of Kenya (BIBA), Brot für die Welt (Germany), Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), FIAN Germany, Forum on the Environment and Development (Germany), INKOTA-netzwerk (Germany), L’Institut de Recherche et de Promotion des Alternatives en Développement (IRPAD, Mali), PELUM Tanzania, PELUM Uganda, PELUM Zambia, the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (Germany and South Africa), Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity (TABIO), and Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM).
  • Million Belay (AFSA, Uganda)
  • Timothy Wise (IATP, USA)
  • Anne Maina (BIBA, Kenya)
  • Mariann Bassey (ERA/FoEN, Nigeria)
  • Lena Bassermann (INKOTA-netzwerk, Germany)
  • Roman Herre (FIAN Germany)
Will the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) be a positive step towards the necessary transformation of food systems? Against the backdrop of the urgent need for democratization of the United Nations, will this summit truly include the voices of peasants, farmworkers, rural social movements and civil society in shaping future food policies? The agenda of the UNFSS and the strong drive of corporate interests are of great concern for civil society movements defending the principles of agroecology and food sovereignty, especially in light of the food crises that COVID-19 has added to. How can we ensure that UN policies address the issues that are actually relevant? We want to bridge the gap from the local to the global perspective and make the case that rebalancing food systems is of paramount importance, all the more so as the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the failures of the corporate food system to address hunger, inequality and the ecological crisis. A side event to the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva on the outcomes of the UNFSS Pre-Summit held in July and just before the UNFSS begins.
  • Michael Fakhri, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
    Interim report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri 24 p.
    In this report, focused on food systems, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food observes that, even though the 2021 Food System Summit has elevated public discussion concerning food systems reform, sufficient attention has not been paid to structural challenges facing the world’s food systems. The Summit’s multi-stakeholder approach, driven by the private sector, has fallen short of multilateral inclusiveness and has led to the marginalization of some countries.
  • Sofia Monsalve, FIAN International, Germany
  • Claudia Ortiz Genera, Ríos Vivos, Colombia
  • S’bu Zikode, Abahlali baseMjondolo, South Africa

Hopi Prayer for Peace

Great Spirit and all unseen, this day we pray and ask You for guidance, humbly we ask You to help us and fellow men to have recourse to peaceful ways of life, because of uncontrolled deceitfulness by human- kind. Help us all to love, not hate one another.

We ask you to be seen in an image of Love and Peace. Let us be seen in beauty, the colors of the rainbow. We respect our Mother, the planet, with our loving care, for from Her breast we receive our nourishment.

Let us not listen to the voices of the two-hearted, the destroyers of mind, the haters and self-made leaders, whose lusts for power and wealth will lead us into confusion and darkness.

Seek visions always of world beauty, not violence nor battlefields.

It is our duty to pray always for harmony between man and earth, so that the earth will bloom once more. Let us show our emblem of love and goodwill for all life and land.

Pray for the House of Glass, for within it are minds clear and pure as ice and mountain streams. Pray for the great leaders of nations in the House of Mica who in their own quiet ways help the earth in balance.

We pray the Great Spirit that one day our Mother Earth will be purified into a healthy peaceful one. Let us sing for strength of wisdom with all nations for the good of all people. Our hope is not yet lost, purification must be to restore the health of our Mother Earth for lasting peace and happiness.

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